by Mike Masnick

CyberStalking Is Increasing

from the watch-out... dept

After all those stories abou thow online dating has gone mainstream and "everyone is doing it", here's an article that says that all that online dating has led to an increase in cyberstalking, as well. I'm not sure how much blame should really go twoards online dating, and how much is due to people just having much easier access to the tools necessary. While, historically, cyberstalking has mostly been men stalking women, the reverse is happening more often as well. Even worse, kids are getting started at a young age, cyberstalking other children. People are even putting trojan horse spyware onto the computers of those they're stalking. Surprisingly, the study also focuses a lot on the Verizon-RIAA battle over whether Verizon needs to give out private info of one of their customers without a court order, thanks to the RIAA filing a DMCA information request. While the connection might not be obvious, the people behind the study say that stalkers will now be able to file one-page DMCA requests to service providers in order to get the private info of people they're stalking. Of course, such a filing would leave a record which might not be the best thing for someone who is stalking.

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  • identicon
    JA Hitchcock, 27 Apr 2003 @ 7:40am

    Latest Cyberstalking Statistics Released - 3-year


    Latest Cyberstalking Statistics Released

    CONTACT: Jayne A. Hitchcock

    APRIL 27, 2003

    Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA at announced today its
    cyberstalking statistics for 2002. Victims who come to WHOA for help fill out a questionnaire
    which has voluntary information at the end that includes location, age, gender and race (see WHOA averages 50-100 cases per week, but
    only 218 victims filled out the questionnaire completely in 2002, which were used to compile the
    latest cyberstalking statistics.

    WHOA found that most of the statistics for 2002 were similar to the previous two years (2001
    and 2000, when they began compiling the statistics). For example, just over half of the victims all
    three years were 18-30 years old and 52-68% were harassed by males. Fifty-nine percent of the
    victims had prior contact with their harassers in 2002, up 10 percent from 2001 statistics. All
    three years saw e-mail as the primary way the cyberstalking began, whether the victim and
    cyberstalker previously encountered each other in a chat room, newsgroup, forum, instant
    messaging or elsewhere online.

    "The most surprising thing we've seen is the rise in female cyberstalkers - this increased from
    27% in 2000 to 32.5% in 2001 to 35% in 2002," says Jayne A. Hitchcock, president of WHOA.
    "We've also had more men come to us for help, jumping from 17% in both 2000 and 2001 to
    35% in 2002."

    More statistics, including location of victim and cyberstalker, race, how the cyberstalking began,
    who the cases were resolved and more are available by e-mailing Hitchcock at

    WHOA was founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through educating the general public and
    law enforcement workers an by empowering cyberstalking victims to become survivors. The
    agency also recommends voluntary policies to purveyors of online Web sites designed to create
    welcoming Internet environments for users.

    WHOA is the only organization that offers up-to-date cyberstalking statistics, a current list of
    states with/without cyberstalking or related laws, online and offline safety tips, and much more.
    WHOA is an all-volunteer organization made up of people from around the world who help
    online victims. For a complete listing of agency statistics from the years 2000-2001, visit
    WHOA's Web site at

    Hitchcock, a cyberstalking victim who joined WHOA in 1997 and was appointed president in
    1999, has since become one of the foremost experts in cybercrime. She has been interviewed by
    dozens of media outlets, and shares her expertise with readers in her recently published book,
    NET CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Outmaneuvering the Spammers, Swindlers, and Stalkers
    Who Are Targeting You Online (, CyberAge Books (350 pp/trade
    paper/ISBN 0-910965-57-9/$24.95), available in better bookstores offline and online.

    In the book, Hitchcock explains how individuals and business users of the Internet can protect
    themselves, their children, and their employees from online cheats and predators. She details a
    broad range of abusive practices, shares victims' stories (including her own), and shares practical
    advice on how to handle junk e-mail, privacy invasion, financial scams, cyberstalking, and
    identity theft. She offers useful tips and techniques and points to the laws, organizations, and
    Web sites that support victims and helps them fight back.

    Hitchcock lectures and trains law enforcement worldwide how to track down online criminals
    and work with victims; has helped pass related legislation in several states, including Maryland
    (the first state in the country to pass such a law), Rhode Island, California, New Hampshire and
    Maine, and offers general lectures to the public about staying safe online.

    Hitchcock is available for media interviews via telephone or in person by calling 815-550-5059
    or e-mailing her at


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